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Georgia, US Plan to Hold Joint Military Drills in Early 2016

© AP Photo / Shakh AivazovUS servicemen take part in the joint US-Georgia military exercise Noble Partner 2015 at the military base of Vaziani outside Tbilisi, Georgia.
US servicemen take part in the joint US-Georgia military exercise Noble Partner 2015 at the military base of Vaziani outside Tbilisi, Georgia. - Sputnik International
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Georgia and the United States plan to hold joint military exercises in the beginning of 2016 to find out how fast the US forces will be able to get to Georgia from Bulgaria if the need arises, Georgia's Defense Minister Tinatin Khidasheli said on Monday.

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TBILISI (Sputnik) — Earlier on Monday, Khidasheli met with Commander of US Army Europe Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges. According to the defense ministry, the sides discussed deepening cooperation between the Armed Forces of Georgia and the United States, as well as expanding the US Armed Force's military contingent during bilateral exercises.

"I did not expect that Hodges would tell reporters what had been discussed at the closed meeting, and I am very pleased. In particular, one of the objectives of this training is to figure out how quickly US military forces, military equipment and troops can arrive on Georgian soil from the place of departure," Khidasheli told reporters.

Large-scale Georgia-US military exercises, dubbed Nobel Partner 2015, were held in May on the territory of the the Vaziani Military Base, located about 12 miles outside the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.

Lt. Gen. Hodges represents a division of the armed forces responsible for conducting the Noble Partner 2015 exercises.

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